News / Africa

Chad, Sudan Signal End to Proxy Wars

The long-running proxy wars between Chad and Sudan could be nearing an end following a rare meeting between the two nations' leaders in the Sudanese capital. The enmity between the two regimes has helped fuel the ongoing conflict in Darfur.

Multimedia

Audio

Chadian President Idriss Deby met with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum this week in what could be a breakthrough moment in the easing of relations between the two countries.

The two have announced that they will work towards peace within their troubled border areas. Chad has long-accused its eastern neighbor of granting safe harbor to opposition militias, and Sudan claims Chad supports certain Darfuri rebel groups.

Another round of Darfur peace talks are under way in Doha, although no breakthrough has yet been announced.

Most say that any potential peace arrangement in the region would require an end to the proxy war between Chad and Sudan. The talks are also plagued by deep distrust between the two sides and a rebel movement too fragmented to unite under a common position.

Whether or not the commitments from the two leaders will result in any immediate tangible change on the ground is not yet clear.

Analysts suggest that the sudden change of heart between the two leaders is due to the political realities facing each president in upcoming elections. Sudan's polls are set to take place in only two months, and Chad's vote is scheduled for 2011.

Chad, Sudan Signal End to Proxy Wars
Chad, Sudan Signal End to Proxy Wars

Darfuri Fouad Hikmat, an analyst for the International Crisis Group, says that President Bashir does not want to see the rebels disrupt the April vote, where he hopes to receive support from the nomadic Arab tribes.

"Darfur is the largest constituency after South Sudan. And therefore it is extremely important for [Bashir's] NCP that, if the elections are going to happen, it is going to happen in such a way that nobody is able to derail it by increased insecurity or attacks in Darfur," he said.

Many of those from communities supporting the rebel movements remain in internally displaced camps or are living as refugees in Chad. Rebel groups say such a situation prevents any chance of fair elections and have demanded the polls be postponed.

The strongest and most mobile of the many Darfuri rebel factions is the Justice and Equality Movement, known as JEM, which espouses a conservative Islamic ideology.

JEM's base of support arises largely from the Zaghawa people group, which straddles the Sudan and Chad border. President Deby is also Zaghawan, and once used Darfur to launch his own military campaign to seize power.

Khartoum is hoping that President Deby will be able to reign in his ethnic brethren within JEM. In exchange, Chadian rebels would no longer be allowed to use Darfur as a base for armed operations.

But Hikmat doubts whether the Chadian president has either the political leeway or sufficient control over JEM to fulfill his pledge.

"It will be very difficult for Deby to deliver to Bashir, and less difficult for Bashir to deliver to Deby," Hikmat added.

The April elections in Sudan will be the nation's first multiparty elections in 24 years.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More